Surprises are good, but anticipated surprises are even better. On April 1, SRAM showed off a video teasing what we all expected to be its new 11-speed road system. We mentioned it on Twitter and Facebook, but the reality was we didn’t quite know what to expect. Fast-forward two weeks later—we now know all the details and admittedly are pretty excited. BikeRadar and BikeRumor had exceptional coverage of the launch of the new products, including final weight and pricing details.
Red is SRAM’s top-level groupset, so it is no surprise that the biggest updates happened here. However, what was a bit of a surprise was just how much product line information they released yesterday. First up is the new 11-speed drivetrain that SRAM has badged “22.” SRAM believes that they have created the first groupset with a full 22 available gear ratio due to their patented “YAW” technology that pivots the front derailleur cage and allows for the big-big and small-small combinations.
SRAM has further added not one but two hydraulic braking options to its Red lineup: one being a rim brake and the other being a disc. These require the use of a new hydraulic shifter that is available in both an 11-speed and 10-speed option (the 10 speed coming a bit later). Unfortunately, the hydraulic systems do add a bit of weight (BikeRadar reports an additional 104g for the rim system and 463g for the disc).
Force was the biggest and most welcome surprise to us here at AeroGeeks. While it’s not getting the hydraulic braking options available to its big brother Red, Force does get both 11-speed and the front derailleur “YAW” technology originally introduced with 2013 Red. This is the pattern of trickle down technology that we absolutely love at AG. For roughly half the price ($1,358) you get a groupset that has all the benefits of Red with just a little more weight—roughly 400g or half the weight of a filled 25oz camelback.
Our motto here at AG is “Tritech for the Masses,” and the new Force 22 fits this definition to a tee. You get a fantastic groupset for half the cost and just a bit more weight. And if you want to go the hydraulic brake route, you can match a set of Red hydraulic shifters and brakes with the Force front and rear derailleurs for a cost effective and capable solution. We suspect by next winter quite a few cross cyclists will go with this setup, and we think they’ll be extremely happy they did.
Clearly SRAM has built a fantastic product line. And we love that they not only created an incredible groupset with Red but also brought it to the masses with Force.